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Anthony de Mello, wrote of the differing ways you could read the many stories in his book ‘The Song of the Bird’ . HOW TO READ THEM

  1. Read a story once. Then move on to another. This manner of reading will give you entertainment.

  2. Read a story twice. Reflect on it. Apply it to your life. That will give you a taste of theology. This sort of thing can be fruitfully done in a group where the members share their reflections on the story. You then have a theological circle.

  3. Read the story again, after you have reflected on it. Create a silence within you and let the story reveal to you its inner depth and meaning: something beyond words and reflections. This will give you a feel for the mystical.

  4. Or carry the story around all day and allow its fragrance, its melody to haunt you. Let it speak to your heart, not to your brain. This too could make something of a mystic out of you. It is with this mystical end in view that most of these stories were originally told.

So please read the following with the above in mind: A sheep found a hole in the fence and crept through it. He wandered far and could not find his way back. Then he realised that he was being followed by a wolf. He ran and ran, but the wolf kept chasing him, until the shepherd rescued him and carried him lovingly back into the fold. In spite of everyone’s advice, the shepherd refused to nail up the hole in the fence.


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